The other night my daughters were watching Disney+ while my wife and I worked preparing dinner, and my ears focused on their show while I was chopping onions or doing some other mundane prep work. They were watching The Little Mermaid, a classic burned into my brain for the sheer number of times I have watched this movie in my home growing up with my younger sister and the admiration that my daughters now have for it. So, what I’m saying is that I pretty much know this movie by heart (I wish it were something else that was taking up this hard drive space in my brain). My ears keyed on when Ariel was proposed and signed the contract with the Sea Witch Ursula. As I listened to this part for the 10,000th time, I started to think about this situation through the lens of my job. Like, why is there not a lawyer present to review this? How would this contract hold water, even under the sea, where a minor agrees without a consenting adult?
From there, my brain started to spiral and access all of the Disney classics. So here is a summary of my thoughts and how the situations of each Disney character represented could have been better with a bit of pre-need planning from a team of professionals:
The Lion King
There was a unwritten line to the throne, but could this situation have been bettered with a trust? Proper legal counsel could have directed trustees to take over in place of Mufasa and Simba’s absence. Giving trustee authority to Sarabi (Simba’s mom) over Pride Rock would have gone a long way in preventing Scar’s destruction.
Again, a trust would have gone a long way in preventing her stepmother and evil stepsisters from taking ownership of her deceased father’s property. But also, life insurance would have been a beneficial option to provide enough funds efficiently to care for both his biological daughter and his new wife and her children.
Before Captain Hook’s hand was cut off by Pan and fed to a crocodile, he could have pursued appropriate disability income insurance. This could have taken care of Hook during his recovery time, and instead of stewing in revenge, he could have set his sights to a nobler calling, maybe clock disposal.
Instead of stealing from the rich, Robin of the Hood could have opened a community foundation to give people of means a tax-efficient option of donating funds to help the less fortunate and better their communities.
The Emperor’s New Groove
Three words – Identity theft protection.
Increased retirement and non-qualified savings contributions within a well-allocated portfolio and decreased spending could have firmed up his goal of early retirement. Even supplement a move to a second career.
Preneed planning and a little education can go a long way to keep you out of a fairytale nightmare that might not end so happily ever after. In real life, many of the classic dilemmas listed above can happen; but they could have been avoided entirely with the expertise of an attorney, CPA, and a Financial Advisor working as a team for your benefit, like The Incredibles without the super suits.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Allen & Co and LPL Financial do not provide tax or legal advice or services. Please consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your specific situation. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.